OSINT: Open Source Intelligence
OSINT: is the acronym for Open Source Intelligence and has been gaining steady purview in the internet age due to the ease of access to all kinds of information via the net.
“Open-source intelligence (OSINT) is a form of intelligence collection management that involves finding, selecting, and acquiring information from publicly available sources and analyzing it to produce actionable intelligence. In the intelligence community (IC), the term “open” refers to overt, publicly available sources (as opposed to covert or classified sources); it is not related to open-source software or public intelligence. ~ From Wikipedia”
The use of OSINT has grown within the private sector as well as has been a mainstay of the military and the intelligence services for years. Earlier on, these sources of information that were being culled and combed through by the likes of Langley, now can be easily done by the likes of you and I with a few tools on the web or applications that you can install on your machines at home.
The key though to the whole process of OSINT is that it is a subtle art that needs its other half to be of real value to anyone. That other half of the picture is “Analysis” which is key to making assessments of the data you get from the open sources you are looking at.
Today it is common to see corporations using OSINT but perhaps calling it “Competitive Intelligence” Still though, the processes are OSINT much of the time. By researching various sources online and in the media, one can gain quite a bit of intelligence on a subject and be able to extrapolate a lot about what a company, individual, group, or country is up to and maybe where they are headed.
Here’s a good article on OSINT, some resources too!